- How do I pick a good photographer when there are hundreds listed in my area?
Search around for photographers that fit your style. Once you’ve got a few favorite photographers, narrow it down to a handful of favorites, and set up a time to meet them. Make sure you’re meeting with the person who will be actually photographing your wedding. You have to like, trust and get along with your photographer – that way you can leave the magic of photo making in the photographer’s hands. You’ll be spending many hours with them during your wedding day, you want to make sure you like your photographer just as much as the images they capture!
- How many photos do I get?
Most wedding photographers produce between 50-100 images for every hour of photographer they provide. Four hundred photos may seem like a lot, but this is a once in a lifetime event that they are preserving. You want to make sure the memories and moments are being captured even when you’re mingling with your guests.
- You love photos with blurry backgrounds? You love images that are soft and pastel? You love black and white? How do you get that look?
Some of those looks can be achieved digitally; others require professional knowledge that only a handful of photographers can provide. Be sure to ask your photographer how they achieve their look and don’t be afraid to ask about their training and credentials. It is also a good idea to ask for references from other brides who have used their services.
- Why is wedding photography so expensive?
This is a question that we hear a lot and sometimes it’s hard to justify; but let me explain what the cost is for. Many wedding photographers carry over $15,000 worth of equipment and the work extends well beyond the time they are at the actual event. There are numerous hours of prep-work and editing your images can take days. Add insurance, taxes, software, advertising, albums, repair, shipping and studio expenses and you will find that the actual amount the photographer makes is significantly less.
- I keep hearing about ‘shoot and burn’ photography. What is it?
‘Shoot and burn’ is slang for photographing a wedding and burning it straight to a CD without post-processing and/or any other products offered. It is super cheap and for a good reason. Bad lighting isn’t corrected, distracting elements aren’t removed, and very little retouching is done to make the images look their best.
Digital files may be a selling point for you, but look for a photographer who offers editing and printing!
- Speaking of printing. Do it.
Don’t let those images sit there on that nicely logoed USB drive or DVD. PRINT THEM! As a photographer, we want you to display our images, your images. You didn’t hire someone to document this important day to leave them concealed on your hard drive. Technology changes so quickly that you run the risk of losing your important day if you do not truly archive it to good quality paper prints.
Plus, you want to show them off! Make sure you hire a photographer with connections to a great professional lab that can provide you with quality products, such as portraits, canvases and albums.
- Do I really need to a second photographer?
No one needs a second photographer, but they can provide you with more images and a different perspective. One photographer can’t be two or three places at once. It’s always a good idea to have that second photographer even if they’re just there for the details so that your main photographer can focus on what’s important!
- How far in advance should I book a wedding photographer?
Many in-demand wedding photographers book weddings at over a year in advance. As it gets closer to your wedding date, it will be harder to book your first-choice photographer so contact them and meet with them as soon as you can.
So let’s recap what we’ve learned…
- Do find a photographer that fits your style
- Don’t be afraid to ask about your photographer’s training, credentials and experience
- Know how many files to expect and what kind of editing will be done to them
- Know who, if any one, will be helping your photographer
- Understand that you’re paying for so much more than just someone to take pictures
- And print! Print! Print!…you’ve paid for the photos, display them proudly!